Last year, I shared my favorite tips for conserving everyday, which included a few diet-based suggestions. This year, I thought it would be helpful to expand on the food side, with some great Earth Day books designed to inspire better eating. Sure, you can certainly lessen your footprint with my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook, but there are many other great Earth Day books that encourage conscious consumption in specific areas. Below are ones from some of my favorite authors to help you …
Shopping for foods when they’re most abundant will not only yield tastier results (have you ever had an in-season strawberry? So sweet!), but seasonal produce is also often grown closer to home, requiring less travel, less energy, less pollution, less everything, to get to your plate. There are many cookbooks with seasonal themes, but most are filled with dairy. Fortunately, there a few fully plant-based (vegan) Earth Day books that are arranged by season and boast vegetable- and fruit-focused recipes:
- The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry – His soulful take is infectious and adds an element of seductive appeal to every dish.
- Local Bounty by Devra Gartenstein – Simple and well-structured, it has influential characteristics of chefs like Alice Waters.
- The Veggie Queen by Jill Nussinow – Classic elegance with unique recipes that focus on under-loved produce for each season.
We all do it, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. The dreaded refrigerator clean out and discovering that beautiful daikon radish has shriveled up as you waited for the right idea to use it. Or perhaps you simply made too much one night and didn’t get around to finishing up the leftovers. A few Earth Day books seek to revolutionize how you think about food and cooking while providing inspiration or just a good swift kick in the behind when you need it most:
- The Flavor Bible by Karen Page – It isn’t perfect, it isn’t completely dairy-free, and some key items are missed, but this heavy hardback provides me with ideas every week for how to use up certain ingredients. For more of a plant-based experience, try The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.
- American Wasteland by Jonathon Bloom – An eye-opener that helps you realize that those little losses do add up, and how to prevent them.
- Food Matters by Mark Bittman – A classic for understanding how our choices effect waste and environmental impact on a grander scale. And when you’re ready for more recipes, there’s the Food Matters Cookbook.
Eat More Plants
There are tons of vegan cookbooks available, but these are the ones from authors whose recipes I love and respect. They each pay close attention to getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to both nutrition and being environmentally conscious:
- Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton – I’ve been using Dreena’s cookbooks for about a decade (they are well worn!), and all have a very nutritious, plant-filled focus. But her latest gives more face time to feeding the whole family.
- The Blender Girl by Tess Masters – A best-seller for good reason. The vibrancy of the author makes you shout, “I’ll have what she’s having!”, and with this produce-heavy vegan cookbook, you can do just that.
- YUM by